Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Polish films at Cannes Festival

This year's festival has its own anxieties.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 17 through May 28.

A few weeks ago, a promo video for THE HOST director Bong Joon-ho's creature feature OKJA seemed to indicate that the mutant animal at the center of the story would be the result of some kind of "Super Pig Project".

The move angered French cinema owners, who forced Cannes effectively to slap a ban on future Netflix-backed movies at the world's top film festival. Success at Cannes doesn't always translate into Oscar love - last year's Palme d'Or victor, Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake, didn't make waves in the USA - but recognition for both Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and David Mackenzie's Hell or High Water began in the south of France.

This poster comes right on the tail of a tenuous week for the Netflix film. This year, Turkish cinema does not appear in any of the sections, except one title: Şerif Gören's "Yol" will be screened in the' Cannes Classics' section, among 16 masterpieces selected from the 69 years of the festival.

As a result, Netflix isn't releasing "The Meyerowitz Stories" in French theatres, and the French film industry has reacted with outrage at the prospect of Cannes films not getting a big-screen release there. "They said that movies would become obsolete after TV came out, but they still co-exist".

Outside the main competition, many films have a political edge, including "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" which follows up on Al Gore's 2006 climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth".

Of course being included in the original Netflix movies 2017 list means that Netflix users can also stream "Okja" on any device that's capable of running the service.

At the heart of the Cannes-Netflix clash is what's known as the French cultural exception, a law that requires a percentage of all box office, DVD, video on demand, television and streaming revenues to be pooled to finance homegrown films and help finance foreign films.

Todd Haynes, who directed Carol and I'm Not There, will debut Wonderstruck, which reunites him with actress Julianne Moore as well as Michelle Williams. We are just so thankful that people have responded in the way they have. And Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, accused cinemas of "strangling cinema".

A top Netflix executive on Monday urged film festivals to "change" and embrace movies from various platforms, with the streaming giant embroiled in a row over distribution with Cannes.

Sarandos went on to explain how expanding ways for movie lovers to enjoy films improves the industry as a whole. "The festival is always changing and is always the same", he said.

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